Elephants are some of the gentlest, most intelligent creatures in the world, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when we hear of one being treated unkindly.
An elephant at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand was being forced to swim underwater, her suffering quite visible, as a trainer stands on her neck and pulls her ears.
According to the Dodo, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the horrors these animals face.
The elephants are trained to “swim” through physical and psychological abuse, experts say. Sharp bullhooks are often used by the mahouts who pose as “trainers,” though it’s clear their animals have developed an aversion to the tool.
“For the bullhook to be effective, an elephant must be taught to fear the device and learn that compliance with commands avoids a painful consequence such as being hit, stabbed or beaten,” Catherine Doyle, director of science, research and advocacy for the Performing Animal Welfare Society, told The Dodo. “As long as an elephant associates the bullhook with pain, and remains fearful of it (through repeated reminders by handlers), the mere presence of the device is menacing enough to control an elephant.”
Mahouts at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo, meanwhile, maintain that their routine is nothing more than exercise.
“The show is considered exercise for the elephants. Normally they go into pools to play with water anyway,” said Khao Kheow Open Zoo director Attaporn Sriheran. “The zoo then designed another pool for the elephants to swim and at the same time allows children and visitors to learn about their behavior as well.”
But, as animal rights activists have pointed out, these animals are being conditioned to perform. The video of the elephant treading water while submerged in the pool has been shared thousands of times since it was first posted in late August, many angered at what they’ve seen.
Just as mounting pressure from public backlash has changed the course of history and business many times before, that concerning the safety and well-being of elephants is no different. Tourism and hospitality companies, including TripAdvisor, have been asked to stop promoting facilities that make money off animal cruelty.
And they’re starting to make changes.
TripAdvisor announced in 2016 that it would stop selling tickets to animal attractions, and it has, with certain exceptions for feeding programs and children’s petting zoos.
“There isn’t really a universally agreed to criteria on what’s on the right side or wrong side of the line,” James Kay, associate director of TripAdvisor, told USA Today. “We needed to say where we stood and where the line was for us.”
The same year, SeaWorld stopped breeding orcas in captivity and Ringling Brothers stopped using elephants in its circus shows.
Whether or not the backlash will have an effect on the Khao Kheow Open Zoo is yet to be seen, but there’s no doubt the world is watching.
Learn more in the video below.
Mitch and Carmen Newman decided to take their kids out to the White Rose Cafe for a bite to eat. Although it would have been amazing to just have a fun, quiet meal – that isn’t what happened.
Their son tried to climb up the wall to reach the jukebox, while their daughter walked back and forth around the booth. Customers even had to listen to the kids loudly yelling, despite the fact that Mitch and Carmen tried over and over to keep them quiet.
At the end of their meal it was finally time to pay the bill. But what the Newmans received instead from the waitress was something that left them speechless. Not only had strangers paid the entire tab, they also wrote a note on the check too. It said, “God bless from a Christian from LA. I love children, Amen.” Mitch and Carmen couldn’t believe it and quickly chased down the kind couple. Discover why they decided to do what they did in the video below. It’s certainly a story with quite the heartwarming twist!
The bride and groom began dancing to a recording of the widely popular song with their friends and family watching on. Little did they know, the couple’s family pulled off a huge surprise by inviting Anderson to sing “Better Today” live for the couple.
After a few seconds of the the romantic dance, the song started sounding off. All of a sudden, the music faded away, and the DJ said, “Uh oh, there’s something wrong with my equipment, hold on. Give me one second, let me work on it.”
Moments later, Anderson appeared from behind the tent playing his guitar. The couple completely freaked out and so did all the guests. They could not believe Anderson, who rose to stardom on the show Nashville Star, was actually singing for them at their wedding!
The happy couple was able to complete their first dance, thanks to Anderson’s live acoustic performance and it will be a moment neither of them will forget.
Watch the incredible moment below!
“God Bless the USA” is a song that Greenwood wanted to write his whole life, but one tragic event inspired him to put pen to paper. That event was Russia shooting down a Korean jet flying to Seoul from New York City. 63 Americans died along with 200 others.
“I saw the senseless strike as a personal attack against our countrymen and it moved me to put pen to paper,” says Greenwood. “The song came so easily, it nearly wrote itself.”
Believe it or not, the song never topped the charts, only peaking at #7. But, it did win the CMA Award for song of the year in 1985 and became Greenwood’s signature tune. In the years since, Greenwood has performed the song hundreds of times at major sporting events, parades, and even Presidential inaugurations.
But, one of the most moving performances of “God Bless the USA” happened off the stage. In 2015, at the NHL “Winter Classic” outdoor game in Washington, DC, Greenwood was asked by the Army Chorus to join them in singing the tune in one of the concourses of Nationals Park. In the video, Greenwood is seen walking through the tunnel of the venue when he is stopped by the chorus’ director and asked to sing an a cappella arrangement of “God Bless the USA.” He obliges and the result is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.
Hear the moving performance from Lee Greenwood and the Army Chorus in the video below. Be prepared to be moved to tears as the mens’ voices fill the tunnels of Nationals Park. And if you’re proud to be an American, share this video with everyone you know.
They didn’t hide inside the pool, but underneath, but they couldn’t fool the dog Mom playfully exclaimed, “Where are they? Go get them! Get the kids!” Their pet dog ran full-force towards the empty inflatable pool, stuck his nose right underneath, and lifted it up to uncover the kids’ not-so-sneaky hiding spot.
But when the kids ran away, it was the dog that got the surprise. The kids ran away laughing while their dog was stuck underneath the swimming pool. The dog tried chasing the joyful kids, but the pool went right with him.
The dog gave every effort he had within him, chasing the kids around the yard with a giant inflatable pool riding on his shoulders, obscuring his view. The whole family burst into an uncontrollable laughter as the dog just kept running and bumping into things along the way. This was a game of hide-and-seek that they will always laugh about!
The people were walking past their neighbor’s home when they saw an enormous Great Dane popping up above the six-foot wooden fence. At first, they thought the dog had some serious jumping skills, then they realized how it was leaping so high!
The smart Great Dane pup realized he could peek over the fence when he pounced on the family trampoline! So, using all of his weight, this hilarious dog jumped into the air over and over again!
Great Dane pups are awfully big even during the puppy stage. But despite his size, this guy is full of puppy spunk. He even appears delighted with his latest trick of spying on and greeting the neighbors.
According to PetWave, this type of excited behavior is totally normal for Great Danes in particular. The website explains that Great Danes can be as energetic as they are large, especially during the teenage period.”
“Young Danes are prone to ‘the zoomies’ – a term used to describe their demonstration of wild abandon and sheer glee that involves galloping, leaping, spinning and jumping on or over objects with an endearing expression of pure joy.”
So when this pup figured out that jumping on the trampoline was fun, there was no holding him back! Thankfully, the neighbors thought to record their bouncing doggy neighbor friend and decided to share it with the world. You have to admit that it’s hilarious.
Great Danes are truly a big, goofy and lovable breed, and this video is proof! Take a peek at the jumping dog that’s going viral. You’ll get a good laugh out of his antics, too.
We’ve seen silly pups in the past, but this Great Dane surely takes the cake.